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Pagan Parenting

How Do We Know We’ve Done Good?

How do we know when, as a parent, we’ve made a positive difference with our kids? Some parents measure it by what grades they get in school…others do it by measuring their kids against the way they were at that age. I know I’m doing a good job, at least most of the time, when my daughter does something so unselfish and positive, that not only is she changing her own life, but that of someone else.

Yesterday was our local area’s Relay For Life event, our third year participating as a team, her third year walking. Now, please understand my oldest daughter is almost 9 years old, and is a typical kid when it comes to how she views herself socially. But my daughter is in no way vain, and her good deed on Saturday proves it.

When we arrived at the event site at 8am yesterday morning, we were looking forward to doing some walking, fundraising, seeing wonderful entertainment…all in all having a great time for a great cause.

4pm rolls around and she surprises me by saying she wanted a haircut. Okay, one of our local teams had a booth set up where you could donate some money to get a basic haircut. But, if you had 10 inches or more of virgin (never dyed or chemically treated) hair, they would send that in to be made into a wig for a cancer patient. The American Cancer Society has teamed up with Pantene to sponsor this event at Relays nationwide.

The first person to get their hair donated was a salsa dancer that was there at the Relay, who had just gotten done dancing. His hair (yes, a man) reached at least to his waist. Long, thick, black hair…luxurious and he cut it off to his shoulders and donated it.

The next person to donate their hair was my sweet, giving humanitarian of a daughter, Kati. She walked right up and told them that if she had at least 10 inches from her shoulders down, she wanted to donate her hair. The ladies and guys standing by the tent stopped and grew quiet, as my brave child looked up with eyes of pure determination and commitment to her cause….she wanted to change someone’s life. What she didn’t know was that she changed everyone’s lives that day.

The people who were around the tent watched in utter amazement and admiration as the hair dresser brushed and measured her hair. After asking if this was what she really wanted, they put her hair in a ponytail and lopped it off.

The ponytail that had once been attached to her head was now in the hands of the lady and her eyes, as well as many of the onlookers, were wet with tears as my daughter made a most beautiful sacrifice. You see, my child became the most beautiful person I know on Saturday. The style of the cut isn’t what matters, but the true beauty that shines from her heart and soul.

After her show of love and giving for someone she might never know, everyone at that Relay worked harder, and had more fun, and raised more money. It was cold, windy and many were getting tired. But what her gift did was give the Relayers and supporters the drive and determination we needed to last 24 hours or more, to raise money that could one day save the life of someone we love, or maybe save ourselves.

My daughter is my hero.